INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 31 The varieties that may be selected from a plantation of seed- ling Spruce, Larch, or Tew plants are innumerable; but so led away are observers by dominant ideas as to the form and habit that plants should assume, that similar differences in other species are seldom put down to a similar power of vary- ing, as a priori they should be, but are taken as evidence of specific difference. To this proneness to attach undue im- portance to variation, we owe the separation of Pinus Pin- draw from Webbiana, P. Khutrow or P. Morinda from P. Smithiana; nor is this all, for species have been made of the commonest English plants which grow in the Himalaya, be- cause they present differences of habit when compared with English individuals, but wljich plants, if compared v.ith con- tinental specimens of the same species, are found to be iden- tical* with them: to such an extent has this been carried, that of the several hundred European plants found in India, there is hardly a species that has not had one (and many, more) new names given to it. The differences in the properties of plants aytd in the colour and durability, etc. of woods, demand a short notice, because the idea is too prevalent that these are very unvarying dia- gnostic properties of species. That some woods are always good, and some as constantly worthless, is incontestable; but this applies chiefly to those of very remarkable hardness or density or weight, or other very unusually joiarked quality; ^hd feven of these, the Teak, Sissoo, Sal, etc., each vary much in quality, whilst the wood of other kinds is singularly va< rial)le, as of the Indian Pines, Oa&s, Laurels, Ebonies, e*c. With regard to the Pines, this is very much to be attributed to the soil and climate, and consequent rapidity of growth are so sportive in the Deodar, that we have seen many specimens of it that are as unlike what wo call the typical Deodar, as they are unlike the Cedar; and. others that approach the latter very closely. There are very slight differences in the shape of the cone-scales of the Deodar, Cedar, and Algerine Cedar, which have never been indicated, and may bo of value: but we doubt their proving so, from the fact of the Algenne Cedar, in this respect, approaching the Himalayan, and thus uniting all three.